UFL Championship: 2 local high school alumni part of inaugural title tilt teams

Credit: © Mike Carslon/XFL

Credit: © Mike Carslon/XFL

Someone from the Miami Valley is going to be a United Football League champion.

Springfield native Darius Harper is an offensive lineman for the Birmingham Stallions while Dayton native Cody Latimer is an injured tight end for the San Antonio Brahmas.

Those teams are set to face off at 5 p.m. Sunday in St. Louis to conclude the first season of the UFL, which is a merger of two spring football leagues that started up in recent years.

Th 31-year-old Latimer caught 39 passes for 391 yards and a touchdown, rankings second on the team in catches and yards receiving, but he was placed on injured reserve two weeks ago after suffering a season-ending injury.

The 26-year-old Harper is already a two-time pro football champion. The Stallions won the USFL each of the last two seasons before the league opted to merge with the third version of the XFL for 2024.

Harper was a standout football and basketball player at Springfield High who originally went to Miami University to play basketball.

After two seasons and 36 games for the RedHawks, he transferred to Cincinnati and joined the football team. He started 18 games for the Bearcats and was an honorable mention All-American Athletic Conference selection in 2020.

Harper went through training camp with the Los Angeles Chargers in 2021 but was waived at the end of August. He joined the reformed USFL the following year.

Latimer was a multi-sport star at Jefferson High School who was a standout receiver at Indiana, where he caught 135 passes for 2,042 yards and 17 touchdowns.

Credit: Lisa Powell

Credit: Lisa Powell

The Denver Broncos chose him in the second round of the 2014 NFL Draft, and Latimer spent four seasons with the club before signing with the New York Giants for two seasons.

Latimer caught 70 passes for 935 yards and six touchdowns in the NFL.

He played in nine games for the Orlando Guardians of the XFL last season, catching 50 passes for 593 yards and four touchdowns.

The UFL is completing its first season after the third version of the XFL and the second version of the USFL agreed to merge.

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